A visionary work that explores the limits of violence and charts an unexpectedly hopeful course toward a nonviolent futureAt times of global crisis, Jonathan Schell’s writings have presented influential alternatives to conventional, dead-end ...
onventional, dead-end thinking. His classic bestseller, The Fate of the Earth, was hailed by The New York Times as “an event of profound historical moment.” Now as the world stands once more on the brink of upheaval, Schell reenters the fray with a lucid, impassioned, and provocative book that points the way out of the unparalleled devastation of the twentieth century toward another, more peaceful path.
Tracing the relentless expansion of violence to its culmination in nuclear stalemate, Schell uncovers a simultaneous but little-noted history of nonviolent action at every level of political life. His historical journey turns up seeds of nonviolence even in the bloody revolutions of America, France, and Russia, as well as in the people’s wars of China and Vietnam. And his investigations into the great nonviolent events of modern times—from Gandhi’s independence movement in India to the explosion of civic activity that brought about the surprising collapse of the Soviet Union—suggest foundations of an entirely new kind on which to construct an enduring peace.
As Schell makes clear, all-out war, with its risk of human extinction, must cease to play the role of final arbiter. The Unconquerable World is a bold book of global significance; far from being utopian, it offers the only realistic hope of safety.